What, you actually thought I meant an intimate encounter with the male species? Ha, then you must not know me very well. I think that the entire gender has made a secret pact to avoid being in my presences for extended amounts of time at all costs… But that’s another story.
Ages ago, I saw a post made by BunnyFoot about reproducing granola bars that were more similar in format to Larabars or Nectar Bars. I stored away this inspiration for a rainy day, and I don’t think the weather could have been any better suited as we seem to be caught in a two-week long gray period. Besides my uncontrollable curiosity, I was also encouraged to attempt this recipe as a new way to save a bit of money. It can be depressingly expensive to simply eat healthfully, let alone vegan. I tend to go through more granola bars per week than is economically sound, but… I can’t help it! Seriously, it’s not just that they’re so darned tasty, but due to the fact that I spend so much time away from home, whether I’m tied up at school or involved with plans afterwards, I need relatively dense and portable sources of nutrients to keep my energy up.
What I really love about these is that there’s no added sugars or fats, yet they’re still so sweet and delicious. It makes me feel a lot better to know that my food isn’t just pumped full of chemicals and preservatives to make it seem healthier, but that it just naturally is. Why screw with that? All it needs is a little spice to make the full flavor profile of the dates come alive.
I didn’t think it would make much sense to mix these up one bar at a time, so I kept the ratios the same and took it from there. …Except that it came out so dry, I soon found myself with a completely different formula. As a result, I’m guessing that my version would be more moist and perhaps delicate in regard to travel, but even if they end up smushed at the bottom of my bag, it’s some damn good tasting smush, so who cares!
Spiced Date Bars
-1/2 Cup Date Puree
-3/4 Cup Rolled Oats
-1/3 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
-1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
-1/4 Teaspoon Ginger
Begin by pitting your dates (If they aren’t already) and whizzing them around in the food processor until it resembles a paste. You don’t need to take it that far if you don’t want to – Leaving it chunkier adds texture. I liked it with a combination of larger bits and puree mixed together. Just make sure that you measure this after mashing it up, because it will be very different from the measurements of whole dates.
Stir together all of the ingredients until fully combined. You may want to fiddle with the exact amounts, depending on how moist you would like your bars and since my measurments weren’t so precise. Too dry? More applesauce. Too wet? More oats. You get the idea.
Scoop out a handful of the mixture and roll into a log, which you can then carefully shape into a long rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the refridgerator. I threw mine in the freezer because I didn’t want to wait for them to set up before chowing down, and I’ve found that if I throw them into my bag frozen, they’ll be thawed and still refreshingly cool by the time lunch rolls around!
The number of bars your get obviously depends on the size you make them, but in case you’re still curious, I was able to form 6 lovely bars from my mixture. Also, if you don’t have the patience or time to form them into nice little rectangles, you could always just roll them in your palm and flatten the sphere to make more of a “breakfast cookie.”